On Tuesday, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords, Rt Hon Lord Pickles, underlined the urgent need for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
During an oral question session on funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Lord Pickles asked: “Does this not emphasise the need to look at a final agreement between Palestinians and Israel? Would not the best thing be to use this as a way to get unconditional talks to occur between Israel and the Palestinian authorities?”
International Development Minister Lord Bates agreed with Lord Pickles, stating that “dialogue is critical and at the heart of this”.
On the same subject, Conservative peer Lord Leigh questioned the United Nations’ logic in defining the descendants of Palestinians who were displaced in 1948 as refugees, asking: “Does the Minister agree that a solution to this issue is made almost impossible when refugee status can be inherited in perpetuity? We should bring pressure on UNRWA to rehabilitate, rather than perpetuate”.
He emphasised: “We should bring pressure on UNRWA to rehabilitate, rather than perpetuate”.
UNRWA was created in 1949 to support Palestinian refugees and today gives aid to more than five million refugees in the Palestinian Territories and neighbouring Arab countries.
Palestinian Arab refugees are the only refugee population in the world whose status includes subsequent generations, with five million people today defined as “Palestine refugees”. The number of Palestinians alive who were personally displaced during the 1948 War of Independence is estimated to be around 30,000.
Read the full transcript here.